The Titanic Sank! Phillies Binocular Edition

All Rise!

You may be seated.  Readers it appears that you have come to a decision.  I will now look at the results.  At the time of this writing it shows that 73% believe that the Phillies have broken an unwritten rule.  I agree.

Baseball is about winning, but it has to be done in the context of integrity.  Noticing tendencies is part of competing.  If a catcher is lazy about hiding his signs, then you take advantage of that.  If you are watching a game on tv and you notice something that tells you what pitch is coming…you apply that knowledge during the game.   Watching video applies as well.

So Where is the Line?

The line is located the second it takes a piece of equipment is the only way to “see” a “tell.”  In other words, it is alright for you to use your eyes, but it is not alright to use binoculars or a FOX TV camera.  Teams may use video to “spy” on anything they like.  But when you apply any information, it has to be done without equipment.

Mick Billmeyer

Despite what you may think, I like what Mick Billmeyer, the Phillies Bullpen Coach, was trying to do.  He was trying to help the team win.  Most of the time, the people, players and coach, in the bullpen are not trying to watch tendencies that could help the offense.

What About Victorino?

Shane Victorino was shown talking on the phone in the dugout.  There are usually 2 phones in the dugout.  One will go to the General Manager or Press Box, and the other is the Bullpen phone.

Now I have been trying my hardest to figure out why Victorino would ever be on the phone.  It is not illegal for a player on the bench to pick up the phone, but that is only if the Pitching Coach and Bench Coach can’t get there for some reason.  When he does pick up the phone, the person in the bullpen will say, “He’s ready” and the phone is hung up.

Since there is no way for me to know why Victorino was on the phone I can’t make a judgment on his action.  However, it is fair to say that it is suspicious when Billmeyer is caught looking at the catcher with binoculars.

Nice Work Readers!

Well done to those of you who chose the correct answer.  But, maybe I missed something.  If there was something that I didn’t see then I want to hear it!

You are dismissed!


13 Comments on “The Titanic Sank! Phillies Binocular Edition”

  1. Tim says:

    The following sentence needs to be edited.

    “The line in located the second it takes a piece of equipment is the only way to “see” a “tell.””

    Right now it makes no grammatical sense. It shouldn’t say “it takes…is the only way” and you have a typo “in” instead of “is”
    One suggestion:
    “The line is located at the point where it takes a piece of equipment to “see” a “tell.”

    • Tim says:

      It could also say:

      “The line is crossed the second a piece of equipment is the only way to “see” a “tell.”

  2. Ken says:

    I agree with drawing the line at using equipment to get an advantage. If you can pick something up from the bench or on the field with the naked eye and relay that information to your teammate that’s fair game and has been done for years.

    Also, thanks for the info regarding the dugout phones. I knew that one was for the bullpen, but always wondered why there were multiple phones.

  3. Ned says:

    who is to say that Mick Billmeyer wasn’t merely looking for pitcher tendencies and relaying those to victorino, to relay them to the team.

    Full disclosure, I am a die hard phillies fan (with the astros and orioles somewhere in there too)

  4. jklender says:

    So if someone in the organization is watching a World Series game and notices on TV that Kenny Rogers has something on his palm, it’s not cool to relay that information to Tony LaRussa, right?

    That is, unless the umps let him wash it off without really checking it first.

  5. KeJo says:

    Hey Mo-Berg and Mo-Berg blog fans,
    off topic, As far as fan-friendly Astros, Jose Lima and Morgan Ensberg ( aka Mo-Berg in our section 111) were by far the best ever. Somebody needs to mention and we all need to remember this fact. Build a shrine or a mini statue!
    Although they were very different personalities and played in Houston at different times, they were very similar in that they appreciated every second they had on stage. As someone who has seen hundreds of Astros come and go through the years, it was really amazing how these two stood ahead of the rest with their love and appreciation for the fans. RIP LimaTime! and thanks MoBerg!

    • jklender says:

      We had Jose up in Detroit for a few years… He always kept ’em entertained. A lot of people here who suffered through nearly two decades of bad baseball will always remember Lima as one of the few highlights of that time.

  6. walkoff59 says:

    Knowing Mick he was probably cheating. Funny guy though.

  7. jklender says:

    Hey Morgan,

    Anything on the Ted Lilly/Casey Blake war of words about pitching from off the rubber? Not two players I particularly care for… But Lilly greatly added to the intrigue when he went with the “hitters have one foot out of the batter’s box anyway” defense, which I tend to agree with. But how far does this all go?

    Another related question, how come catchers can still get called for interference when a guy clearly swings with his foot out the back of the batter’s box?


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